Trump, Guns, and 2020: How One Hunting Family Is Debating Gun Control and Voting – By James West (Mother Jones) / Oct 14 2020
“I’m not convinced that we’ve ever agreed on anything!”
This week’s presidential debate may be canceled, but debates are still roiling around kitchen tables, on social media, and in family iMessage groups. It’s 2020 and opportunities for a fight are everywhere: Maybe you’re having a hard time convincing your parents to take masks seriously; or you and that cousin who is deep into conspiracy theories spread on YouTube are battling on Facebook about the election; or your partner or spouse is being a bit nutty about quarantine restrictions—too rigid or too relaxed.
As it turns out, often the most meaningful disagreements happen with the people you love the most, about the things you care the most about. Today, Mother Jones is publishing One Shot One Kill, a documentary film that follows a father and two of his sons as they embark on a deer hunting trip in rural Tennessee, a deeply held family tradition that connects the Neal family to the beauty of the land, the tradition of hunting, and what it means to be both a hunter and gun owner in the United States in 2020. When a mid-hunt conversation between the men—66-year-old patriarch John, and sons Fisher, 36, and Tyler, 33—turns to the Second Amendment, the trip becomes an opportunity for Peabody-nominated filmmaker Nancy Schwartzman to train her lens on how one of America’s most fraught cultural battles, gun control, plays out in a single family. Watch the film above.
“In almost all situations, hunting with the semi-automatic is not necessary,” Tyler Neal says in the film, as the family huddles and chats around a fire in their camo hunting gear. Fisher, an NYC-based outdoor guide and professional actor, ponders the accessibility of ArmaLite Rifles (ARs): “I don’t think we need to ban them but we should at least make it more rigorous of a process to get one.”